Leaked Fox News Document Warns of Guests Spreading ‘Disinformation’

Leaked Fox News Document Warns of Guests Spreading ‘Disinformation’

A document from the Fox News research team warns of “disinformation” being spread by the network’s guests and contributors.

The document, titled “Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration” cites frequent guest John Solomon, lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, and President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani as frequent purveyors of unverified claims.

“The research brief is especially critical of Solomon, a former opinion columnist at The Hill whose opinion pieces about Ukraine made unsubstantiated claims about its government interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” according to The Daily Beast, which obtained the document from the network’s “Brain Room.” “Solomon played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.”

Fox News employees, according to the document, are told to be aware of Solomon’s alleged history of “non-disclosure of conflicts, use of unreliable sources, publishing false and misleading stories, misrepresentation of sources, and opaque coordination with involved parties.”

Giuliani, the document noted, likewise has a “high susceptibility to disinformation.”

In a statement, Fox News downplayed the memo, saying it has been “taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”

“The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX News and in many other outlets,” said Mitch Kweit, senior vice president of the network’s research division.

Fox News host Sean Hannity was also criticized for referring to Solomon as an “investigative reporter” even though his work at The Hill was labeled as “opinion.” The internal document dinged the primetime host for also failing to note conflicts of interest regarding Toensing and diGenova.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.